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​PICTURE: First A321neo with revised door layout assembled

The first Airbus A321neo equipped with a modified fuselage and additional cabin exits is nearing completion on the final assembly line at Hamburg.

Dubbed the “Airbus Cabin Flex” (ACF) version, this first major variation of the A321 fuselage incorporates up to four overwing exits instead of the pair of main cabin doors immediately ahead of the wing on existing A321. The pair of doors immediately behind the wing has been also repositioned aft by four fuselage frames (with a deactivation option).

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The changes increase in the twinjet’s maximum seating from the current 230 passengers to up to 240. Other interior changes include slimmer seats, a redesigned rear galley and lavatory module, and a new rating for its exit doors.

The A321neo ACF is due to enter service next year, and the changes it features will be incorporated into the extended-range A321LR version of the A321neo which is due to enter service in 2019. This variant features increased weights and up to three auxiliary fuel tanks, to boost range by up to 500nm (925km) to 4,000nm.

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